COVID-19 Resources, Updates, and FAQs
Our desire is to help individuals and families continue to grow spiritually during this time where we have been asked to limit our gatherings. In the space that follows, we will post updated content, resources, and links that we hope will be helpful for you and your family. Feel free to share with others!
God’s Word instructs to “bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.” The law of Christ is the law of love, the “new commandment” that Jesus gave his followers to love one another in the same way that he loved us. At Mountain Creek, we’re committed to doing just that.
Whether you need help, or whether you’re here to find out how you can help others, we’re all in this together.
Mountain Creek Cares is our effort as a community of God’s people to serve one another and our community in this time of need. Click the link above for more details.
All our video content––Sunday morning online services, Youth Night Live (Wednesdays), as well as other short devotionals and messages––will be streamed on our YouTube channel. Click the link above, and be sure to “subscribe” to the page for easy reference! Once you subscribe, just go to YouTube.com and our Mountain Creek Media page should appear under “subscriptions” on the right side of the YouTube home page.
We’ve put together a packet of resources to help families point their children toward Jesus during this time of uncertainty and separation due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Our prayer is that this COVID-19 PARENT RESOURCE PACKET will be a blessing to your family and assist you in the discipleship of your children.
Below you will find the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 and the Mountain Creek Baptist Church community. All future updates will be added to this page, in addition to other forms of communication (Email, Social Media, Realm Connect App, etc.).
March 31, 2020 Update
Mountain Creek Family,
On March 17th, we wrote to you that we were cancelling our services and activities held on our campus through March 31st, in hopes that going into April we would be able to resume meeting. Unfortunately, it is apparent that that is not the case. As many of us are aware, on Sunday March 29th, President Trump extended the government’s recommendation for all citizens to avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people through April 30th. Additionally, our Governor has asked South Carolina citizens to refrain from gathering in groups of more than three at a time. Because of these recommendations and guidelines, we will extend our cancellation of all activities and in-person worship gatherings at Mountain Creek for the time being, with an evaluation being made on a week-by-week basis.
We have been asked by some when we will be able to meet again. While we cannot at this time give a firm date, our prayer is that this day will be soon. In the meantime, our ongoing assessment will be made in light of the official guidelines and recommendations given by our local and national government, like the ones mentioned above or others that may be released. Once a determination has been made that we can begin meeting together again, we will be sure to promptly inform the church of this decision.
We are making plans now for our Easter service, assuming at this point that this service, too, will be online. However, while it does not look like we will be able to physically gather together on Resurrection Sunday, the reality of the resurrection is not diminished. Christ is risen; He has given us life in Him; and in these truths we will rejoice!
We’d like to take this opportunity also to say Thank You to those who have served us by helping to make these online services possible. To our musicians as well as our sound and video technicians, thank you for helping us to continue to worship together on Sunday mornings!
Just like we have continued to connect online for Sunday services, our church ministry continues forward. We may have had to make drastic changes, but we have not closed as a church body! We’re still serving, still praying, still seeking to minister the Word to one another. Our Life Groups are vital in this ongoing ministry of care; Life Groups – please continue to connect with one another and love one another well in this time!
Similarly, we’re still serving one another across our church body. If you have a need of any kind, or if you would like to join with us to serve one another and others, we ask you to visit our Mountain Creek Cares page to let us know. To do this, simply go to mountaincreekbc.org/care and follow the options listed there.
Please join us in prayer for our nation, our state, and our community. Pray specifically for government leaders to make wise decisions that will value and protect life. Pray for them to seek God through Christ and for His wisdom to guide them. Pray for an end to this pandemic. Pray for God to use this to turn the hearts of people toward Him.
Pray for our community; for small businesses and companies and their employees who are at risk of losing their work. Pray for healthcare workers and those who work in various roles in service industries.
Pray, finally, for our church family. Pray for one another’s health and protection. Pray for our focus to be on God, His Word, His Spirit’s leadership of our lives. Pray for our witness to our neighbors and our love for one another.
We are praying for you. We love you, and we hope to be back together again as God’s people very soon.
Pastor Bert, Pastor Matt, & Pastor Rhett
THE VIRUS ISN’T WIDESPREAD IN OUR COMMUNITY. WHY SHOULD WE FOLLOW THE GOVERNMENT RECOMMENDATIONS?
This was one of the most difficult parts of the decision, on one hand, because at this point the virus doesn’t seem to be prevalent in Greenville County. On the other hand, we believe that Scripture tells us that we should be subject to our governing authorities because they have been given by God for our good.
While in the United States we do have a First Amendment right to gather for worship, our government is not in this decision seeking to suspend that freedom to worship, but rather they are acting for the common good to help prevent the spread of this sickness. We have found the article “Should Churches Submit to Government Demands to Shut Down Services?” by Dr. Bruce Ashford to be very helpful in this discussion.
Additionally, all of us should view this as a neighbor love issue and a way to help protect the vulnerable. Although many of us would only suffer a sickness from which we could recover, there are others both in our church community and in our broader community to whom this sickness poses great risk; for them it very well may be a life or death issue.
It is because we want to love our neighbors and protect the vulnerable, and because we believe that in this case the government is acting for the good of our nation, that we are heeding their recommendation to suspend meeting together at this time.
WHERE CAN I FIND MCBC-SPECIFIC UPDATES?
We will continually update this page with the most up-to-date information concerning Mountain Creek. Please keep it tabbed as a reference for the latest information.
As our status changes with any development, we will also update the church via email, social media, and the Realm Connect app.
HOW WILL WE CONTINUE THE MINISTRY OF THE WORD AND PRAYER IN THIS TIME?
SUNDAY MORNING SERVICES
Before the upcoming weekend, we will send out a link via email and social media on which you can view and participate remotely in a Sunday Worship Service online. As a part of our Sunday morning time, Pastor Bert will include some questions for family discussion from the Sunday morning message. Just as we have connected our Kids Worship lessons to our Sunday morning messages to encourage family discussions around the Word of God, we especially now want to continue those family conversations. If you have children, we highly encourage you to watch these services together as a family. For all of us, if at all possible, we’d encourage you to continue to do this at our normal time of 10:30am on Sunday mornings. During this online gathering we will be able to connect with one another, and we’d love for you to be a part of this!
Additionally, please feel free to share this link with others. One of the great opportunities in our culture right now for the gospel is the abundance of online church services in a time of heightened fear and anxiety. People are looking for hope, many are stuck at home, and there will be many opportunities to join in an online church gathering for those who would not typically attend church. Please pray for this to happen, both for us at MCBC and other churches across our country. What an opportunity for the spread of the gospel!
Music is an important way for us to be encouraged by and to be reminded of the truths of the gospel. Our worship team will be recording songs for us that will accompany our Sunday morning videos. We believe that it would be a great way for your family to worship together if you sing along at home during the videos! Even if you don’t sing aloud, listen to these words and be reminded of God’s goodness and mercy as a part of your worship with your family.
Pastor Rhett will be sending out resources for encouraging family devotions and conversations during these next two weeks while we are away from MC Kids and Kids Worship. If you have not already, please be sure to read over Pastor Rhett’s helpful guide, “Talking with Your Kids about the Coronavirus”. Our desire at MCBC is to partner with parents as they disciple their children, and we believe that these weeks will give families a great opportunity to take the next step in cultivating family worship at home.
MOUNTAIN CREEK STUDENT MINISTRY
Family devotions and discussions centered around the Word are not just for our younger children, but for our families with middle and high school students as well. Pastor Matt will be sending out video messages designed for our youth but with discussion at home in mind as well. As with our Sunday morning gatherings, we would love for our youth to go online to watch and interact during these messages.
WHAT ABOUT OUR LIFE GROUPS?
Life Groups will not be meeting at this time due to the recommendation from President Trump that all gatherings be restricted to 10 people or less. We are praying and hoping that the virus spread will be slowed quickly with these measures and that very soon we will be able to begin meeting together as Life Groups once again.
In the meantime, we encourage our Life Groups to reach out to one another and check in on one another. God has designed us to follow Jesus together, and though it may be wise to suspend our physical gatherings temporarily, we still need mutual encouragement and care. The question for each of our groups is this: How can your group continue to pray for one another and encourage one another in this context?
CAN WE CONTINUE TO GIVE DURING THIS BREAK?
Yes. Giving through the local church is an act of worship, and just as we encourage you to continue in other areas of worship in this time, we also encourage you to continue in this. At this time there are two ways that you can give: You can give by mail (255 W. Mountain Creek Church Rd., Greenville SC, 29609), or you can give online by bank draft or card at mountaincreekbc.org/give. Simply click on the link on that page or click on the icon at the bottom right of any page on the MCBC website. Giving via bank draft is completely free.
We are in our season of giving also for the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions. You can still give to this offering as well online, using the dropdown menu that will come up on our giving page. All giving to the Annie Armstrong offering goes to support the work of the North American Mission Board.
ARE WE POSTPONING OUR 40 DAYS OF PRAYER?
No, we are not. Please continue to use the 40 Days Prayer Guide individually and with your family. Importantly, continue to pray for your one unchurched friend or family member as well. We will occasionally post prayer videos on the church Facebook page and we may find other ways to encourage us to pray together for the current Coronavirus crisis.
WILL THE CHURCH OFFICE BE OPEN?
The Mountain Creek staff will continue to be working during this two-week break; however, we will be working remotely for the most part. You can still reach us by phone or email with any needs. The church office number will be forwarded to one of our staff members during normal office hours. To contact the church office, please call 864-244-4524 during normal office hours. Staff email addresses are listed below:
- Rhett Burns – email@example.com (Associate Pastor; Families, Children, Missions)
- Martha Crouse – firstname.lastname@example.org (Minister of Music)
- Matt Hall – email@example.com (Pastor for Youth and College)
- Whitney Pendell – firstname.lastname@example.org (Office Administrator)
- Bert Watts – email@example.com (Senior Pastor)
- Brenda Whitaker – firstname.lastname@example.org (Financial Secretary)
WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP?
On Monday, March 16th, we called all of our members over the age of 75 who may be choosing to stay at home during the duration of the Coronavirus. If you are a member who needs to remain in your home, but have not been contacted by someone from the MCBC pastoral staff, please reach out to us and let us know. We are currently working on connecting those who need to stay indoors with individuals and couples within the church who can check on them and help be sure that they have all that they need. If you are able to help with this area, please contact Pastor Rhett.
Additionally, let’s do the simple things: Check on one another for encouragement and care. Reach out to your unchurched neighbors, particularly those with no family in the area. Pray specifically for one another and for our leaders. Do practical things to help fight the spread of the virus.
As soon as we are able to meet together again, jump back in. We’re looking forward to that day, and we pray that it will be very soon.